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Non-Russian Cyrillics (was: I'm back)

From:Isaac Penzev <isaacp@...>
Date:Wednesday, August 30, 2006, 20:15
Benct Philip Jonsson girs'epset':

| FWIW I was sketching on a Neo-Tokharian, which would have
| Cyrillic as its main or only script.  It would need to
| distinguish /ji/ from /i/ and /jM/ from /M/, and I thought
| to use І /i/ И /ji/ Ъ /M/ Ь /jM/ (while Ы would seem out of
| place for /M/ where І was /i/) but I was told those
| assignments would seem weird to a Russophone.

Indeed they are. Cyrillic alphabet has its own story and tradition of
adaptation to non-Russian langs, but in general it is less flexible to
non-standard appication of graphemes than Latin, IMHO.
It permits some variation of reading values when they are similar/close in
pronunciation, like В [w], Г [γ], Л [ɬ] in Chukchee, or К standing for both
[k] and [q] in Nogay, but ascribing smth like Щ for [θ] would be indeed
North Caucasian orthographies, otoh, extensively use digraphs and trigraphs,
where the role of modifying element is played by Ъ, Ь and Ӏ ("palochka" in
the Unicode, "Roman digit one" in the Soviet tradition). Where къ may mean
[q], хь - [h],  тӀ - [t'] etc.

| Well well
| there are always the possibility of using Ӥ Ӹ for the
| preceding /j/.

Surely there are, though in practice those characters mean:
Ӥ - non-palatalizing /i/ in Udmurt;
Ӹ - palatalizing /M/ in Mari [info needs verification].

| Benct Philip Jonsson -- melroch at melroch dot se

-- Yitzik